Can you have a Capybara as a Pet?

Capybaras are rodents but in a larger version, love to cuddle, and want all your love. Just like dogs or cats, you might want to pet a capybara for its round, soft body and that friendly nature. 

But wait, can capybara be domesticated? Can you have a capybara as a pet because they are wild animals, right? Is it legal to keep them in your house? 

Can you have a Capybara as a Pet

While planning to pet a capybara, there are things you need to keep in mind. We are here to spill the tea for you! 

Capybara as Pets 

Do capybaras make good pets? Capybaras are wild animals and just like any other wild animals, they make bad pets! We are sad to inform you that they are not as good pets like the dogs. However, it’s possible to pet them. 

Well, they are not domestic animals and they won’t behave like one. But they are friendly, laidback, and require care.

So, you can buy a capybara that is properly trained or groomed- they won’t be much difficult to handle. But can a capybara hurt you as they are from the wild? 

Capybara is not a good pet

No, they are not the animals that will be aggressive towards you unless they feel threatened by you or any other beings around you. If they feel threatened, however, they can bite you too! 

Make sure you take protective steps in advance. So, can you buy a capybara in the US? Do they hurt you? Can you pet them indoors? Well, loads of questions- we are going to answer each of them in detail here! 

Requirements for Petting Capybaras 

Petting capybaras for a long period and then seeing them die might hurt you bad. So, beforehand, take a look at ‘how long do capybaras live!’ And here, we have made a list of their housing and diet requirements- you’ll need them when you pet this species. 

Housing Facility Requirements 

If you are going to pet capybaras, you need to provide them with enough area to be comfortable. For a pair of these species, you will need more or less 250 sq. ft. of room.

They love staying with other animals too. Take a look at ‘capybaras hang out with other animals’ here. 

To make them feel safer, the area should be fenced-in. The capybaras will require additional protection for the night.

And so, you have to ensure that you can use a covered shelter for the night. These animals are extremely playful. 

Capybara Needs good housing for petting

They love to cuddle, they love to jump and climb. In this case, just like a baby, you have to certify their protection.

The fence you are going to build for their living should be at least 5 ft. tall. Along with this, capybaras can leave by the gaps in the fence. 

Though they are big and round, they may escape through the gaps of the fence. So, always keep in mind that you need to check for the breaches and gaps so that they cannot escape the fence.

We all know that capybaras cannot live without water and it has become a part of their lifestyle. 

And to ensure this lifestyle, you have to give them a water body too. In the case of a pet capybara, you can arrange a pool of water.

However, the pool must be at least 3 ft. deep. Capybaras are large and you must go to a pool where they can dive in. 

There are situations when the owners thought that capybaras can live without the water. But always consider this as their need more than their hobby.

If they do not get enough water, their skin will start drying out. They won’t get the necessary hydration. 

Befriending a pet capybara:

This is unhealthy for them and their skin. The water body you are going to select should be sheltered from the sun too. You might want to see them enjoy the water. For this, you can buy untreated wooden toys and other such items too. 

They will play with them and in some cases; they can chew these items too. Their teeth require the proper practice of chewing so that they can grow strong. Giving them toys is a good option to add value to it.

Along with this, if you have a cat or other pets like monkeys or birds in your house, you can let them free. They will play with the capybaras. 

Diet Requirements 

If you plan on keeping a capybara in your house, you must take an intensive look at their diet requirements. Yes, they have a boring diet when they are in the wild. All they feed themselves on is some handful of plant species. 

Their basic food circle is related to grasses but they love aquatic plants. The weird diet capybara has is eating their own feces or poop. Well, yes, we know you find it weird but that’s what they do! It helps them digest well. 

When they eat poop, the food ingredients once again get into their body. And it ensures that all the elements of the food are properly digested. If you c capybaras in your house, go for some Orchard or Timothy hay as their food. 

Requirements for Petting Capybaras

Almost all the animals’ stores have them. It is necessary to certify that their necessity for nutrition is fulfilled. Keep in mind that these species are prone to scurvy. As a result, they do not produce necessary vitamin C. 

So, make sure that you keep food in their diet that includes additional vitamin C. You can also give them some carrots occasionally and other fruits. You can learn more about ‘what does a capybara eat here!’ 

How much do Capybaras Cost?

As the animals are big, we often get confused about the price you need to pay for them. So, how much does a capybara cost? Well, if you are going for an adult capybara, you might need to pay about $1000 to $3500 or more. 

When your preference is a female capybara, you need to pay a little more. But while keeping them as pets, make sure you are going for more than one capybara. Yes, they can live alone but in the wild, they always have company. 

And if you suddenly take them out of the company and cage them alone, they are going to be sick. So, it’s better to keep at least two capybaras together. These animals require continuous company. They need someone to swim with, talk to, and have fun with.  

🐿️ Read More: Why do Capybaras Like to Live near Water?

Law and Legality 

Can you have a capybara as a pet in California if you want to? Unfortunately, no, these animals are banned in California and Georgia. However, they are legal in Texas, New York, and Pennsylvania. 

So, why are capybaras illegal in California? Firstly, they are not native to the state and they are wild animals. The second reason is if you expose capybaras to the wild, they can harm crops. There’s a chance of them harming the native wildlife too! 

As a result, just like many other pets, capybaras are illegal in California. While planning on petting a giant rodent-like capybara, you must deal with the law and legal issues beforehand. In some states, capybaras are illegal to be kept as pets. 

🐿️ Read More: What does a Capybara Eat?

In some states, they are legal but even then, within the states, in some particular cities, they might be prohibited. Law of some particular areas will ask for permits or a license for petting a capybara. In either case, you might see no obligation in keeping them as a pet in your state. 

Whatever it is, you might check out the law and order before you buy them. So, can you own a capybara in the US or do you just have to give up your dreams? 

Well, not in all states but some states allow petting capybaras at your home too! States like Arizona, North Carolina, Texas, Florida, Indiana, Nevada, Washington, Tennessee, and parts of NY will let you have capybara as your pet. 

Wrap Up 

Now you know what you need before you pet a capybara, right? Make sure to check the law and legal factors before you buy them.

And also, you need to certify that you can provide the necessary housing facilities and the proper diet that matches their lifestyle. Other than that, capybaras will live with you just like your favorite pet!

Lisa G

Meet Lisa G, the founder and author of With over 3 years of experience studying and observing various species of rodents. Lisa has established herself as a credible expert in the field. Her passion for these often-overlooked animals shines through in her in-depth articles and engaging writing style. Follow her blog to learn fascinating facts and gain a new appreciation for the furry creatures that share our world.

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